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Food Bank in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lankan context Food Bank is a much necessary project to ensure food security.

About 60% of Sri Lanka’s municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated in its Western Province where the Colombo District contributes half (2100 t/day) and within the district the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) 700 t/day or 10% of the national total. These 700 t are produced on just 37 square kilometers by a population of about 550,000 (2012). This is about 2.6% of the national population (or 15% of the national urban population) on less than 1% of the country’s land area. About 80% of the organic waste is short-term biodegradable food waste. Thus, the amount of food waste can be estimated as 353 t/day, which is half of the total waste generated. Although Colombo only introduced at the end of 2017 the need for source segregation at household level, a substantial portion (ca. 146t/day) of the generated food waste is already segregated to enter dedicated recycling process.

So, edible food is wasted in huge quantities in Sri Lanka. These wastes can be fruits or vegetables or meat products. For Sri Lanka estimates range up to 30% of food waste annually. On the one hand side due to inefficient production, storage, and transport solutions in some parts of the country and on the other hand side due to unsustainable consumer behavior.

According to these dates a lot of edible fruits, vegetables, meat products are wasted without any consumption due to lower consumption. Although food waste generally occurs due to food surplus, it is hard to believe that tons of food is discarded in Sri Lanka where 8.9 percent of the populace live below the poverty line. In the hotel sector, generally food is considered waste and tons are disposed or resold as animal feed.

According to the above-mentioned details Sri Lanka should have a Food Bank to obtain the maximum benefits from excess food items like Canada, Singapore, Australia etc. As Food Science students, we found more details about food waste in the world. And we explored to know other developed countries’ paths to minimize food waste and hunger and how do they obtain maximum benefits from excess food items. Therefore, looking at the possible excess food and the large requirements by the needy, there is a definite need for Food Banking in Sri Lanka.